Sunday, February 4, 2007

Day 16 : Old Sodbury to King’s Stanley

Tuesday 30th January 2007

Distance Walked: 22.5 miles
Start Time: 8:34
End Time: 16:17
Elapsed Time: 7:43
Weather: Overcast and mild. Again.
Distance walked so far: 323 miles

Another day without rain. The mildness of the month is of newsworthy note, and once again I’m in shirtsleeves as I hit the trail. The fears of winter walking are proving to be unfounded, so far. The only seasonal problem is the lack of available daylight, with darkness descending by 5pm. Lack of pre-planned accommodation each night results in a controlled daily panic from 3pm, as I desperately head towards the most likely area of shelter. Attempts to counter this by setting off earlier in the morning are hindered by the enormous amounts of sausages I’m forcing myself to eat. I’ve paid for the bloody breakfasts, and I’m damn well going to get my money’s worth.

Once more, it’s a day on the Cotswold Way and, whilst it’s nice to be walking in the country again after miles of tarmac, the erratic nature of the path is really starting to get on my tits. The route is clearly not designed with the End-to-End walker in mind and veers around the landscape in a wild attempt to encompass every single aspect of each potential landmark. Just when it seems that there are no more inclines to tackle, the waymarkers invite the walker to launch themselves up yet another slope to gaze with wonder upon the marvels of the Gloucestershire countryside. I’m all for wonder, but I’ve also got knees to consider, so, whilst I climb both Nibbley Knoll and Hetty Pegler’s Tump (yes, really), and admire the views of the Severn valley stretching across the horizon, over to Wales and the Brecon Beacons, I trim the edges off some of the extreme wanderings and take the more direct route on the roads and lanes. Through this mixed approach, progress is made and I reach a safe harbour in King’s Stanley, on the fringes of Stroud, in time for beer, bath and bed.

Song of the day:

Grand Drive

Don’t let the grass grow /
Don’t let the wheels take control /
Your hat is on /
You’re on your way now

1 comment:

Sock Louie said...

You filled a sock yet?